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Residents Say Scores Of Civilians Killed In Pakistan's North Waziristan

North Waziristan Residents Protest Against Army Shellingi
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December 20, 2013
Residents of the Pakistani region of North Waziristan today protested against a Pakistani Army operation in the region that locals claim killed many civilians. Residents told RFE/RL that more than 40 civilians have died in army shelling since December 19. But Pakistani Army officials said that the operations killed 27 militants, including foreign terrorists. They did not offer any information on civilian casualties. The army operation began after a suicide bomber struck a checkpoint near the town of Mir Ali. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
WATCH: North Waziristan residents protest against army shelling.
By RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal
PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Residents of Mir Ali, the key town in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area, say at least 40 people died in army shelling there on December 19.

Locals told RFE/RL by phone on December 20 that the shelling, now stopped, destroyed most shops in the bazaar and prevented people from taking wounded to the hospital.

The residents' reports of civilian deaths come as the Pakistani military said its military operation in the region killed 33 people, all militants.

The army said fighting began late on December 18, when a convoy was attacked en route to a checkpoint, then expanded to target a militant hideout in Mir Ali.

Some 300 people, mostly students from North Waziristan, protested in the northwestern city of Peshawar on December 20 against the military operation and what they said was the targeting of civilians.

With reporting by AP

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